What is (and is not) partial immortalization?

The aim of regenerative medicine is to regenerate all tissues and organs of the human body with the help of stem cells’ regenerative potential. Theoretically if all tissues and organs of an adult body were regenerated once, then it could be regenerated two and eventually n times. (Think of the scheme of a Proof by Induction.) This technological possibility is called partial immortalization.

The main thought behind partial immortalization is quite simple. Every tissue and every organ of the whole human body could be replaced and regenerated with the help of stem or tissue-specific progenitor cell transplantation or with tissue engineering. If an adult body was regenerated once, then it could be regenerated n times. Constant and continuous iteration of this process leads to unlimited lifespan.
Leaving aside the scientific and technological details, the main statement of our thought experiment is: partial immortalization is possible with the help of regenerative medicine. An important restriction should be that partial immortalization means that an adult human organism does not age because of continuous regeneration, and so, lacks age-associated changes and diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases), the impairment of bioenergetic function and the decreased ability to respond to stress, and generally lacks the internal causes of death. But this does not mean that the immortalized person could not die in a car accident, through acute diseases, war or generally the external causes of death, or could be revived, reanimated after his death. This possibility would be immortalization in the strong or whole sense, which equals literal immortality. Briefly, partial immortalization would eliminate problems concerning ageing (ageing related physiological problems), while whole immortalization would eliminate death related problems.

Originally posted at May 1th, 2006, http://attilachordash.wordpress.com/

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